Monthly Archives December 2007

Favorite Photos

Have you ever noticed that babies make adults go goofy? I love the first photo dearly and hope that my mom and dad in law aren’t upset by the pic – it’s awesome! I was holding Amelia and they were just talking with her. I had the camera in my hand so I just had to capture this candid moment!

Babies Make Adults Go Goofy!!!

The second photo started as a Maddie sandwich. She was a bit cranky so Sam and I smooshed her to try and get a smile. We then added one person at a time for a series of photos, but I will simply share the first and the last photo. Now that’s a good lookin’ group!

Mom, Maddie and Sam

The Whole Gang!

All of Maddie’s and Amelia’s cousins sat for the fourth photo. There will be one more come March when Aunt Kim and Uncle Larry have their baby boy!

All the cousins!

And the last two photos are the grandmas with Amelia… she captures hearts!

Grandma Dotty and Amelia

Grandma Barbara and Amelia

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Way up high and way down low

Miss Amelia is getting stronger and stronger by the minute it seems. Way back when (like five days ago) Amelia would sit ever so quietly on your lap. She has now figured out that she can move around a bit. I suspected this was coming because when I find her in the cot after a night’s sleep, she has been turned around at least 90 degrees. All from squirming too! She now sits on lap for about, oh, four seconds before she straightens her back like a board and pushes off with her feet. It’s worth a few giggles!

One reason she is getting stronger is because of the tummy time and the flying time. She’s flies quite well in dad’s hand and holds her head up just like a hero. She also thinks that tummy time is pretty cool when she has something to gaze upon...

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Christmas at last!

Merry Christmas Little Ones! The girls enjoyed snow for Christmas…. a 1% chance to have snow in Portland on Christmas day and look what happens for them! Snow at last… Christmas at last…

Maddie’s Stocking

Maddie and Amelia

Maddie and Grandpa


Mom and Amelia

Maddie is a ballerina

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Milk, Water and Mirror Pond?

Preparing the cookiesThis is the first year we’ve made cookies for Santa, I don’t know why we haven’t done it before… perhaps it’s because this is the first year that we’ve been home and Maddie really gets it! Dad and Maddie baked them together while I sat recording the momentous occasion. We had conversations the entire time about what Santa would want to drink with his chocolate chip cookies.


Watch the clip to find our all of our thoughts!!

Maddie and Dad


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Christmas Parties Part 1!

Grandma Barbara had the ENTIRE family over for a pre-Christmas Day party. It was absolutely perfect having the whole family under one roof. It’s such a rare event and it was just downright fun. I keep having deja vu because Maddie was Amelia’s age during her first Christmas. She sat in the same car seat in the same room, sleeping just the same way with the hustle and bustle all around her. I’ll have to dig that picture up when I return to Shanghai! It was a wonderful night!

Christmas Trees


Amelia’s presentAmelia and EthanMaddie and ElenaMaddie and Elena’s joint present














Daddy, Maddie, Connor

Andy and Earl

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Lions and Tigers and Bears and Snowmen, oh my!

Sam and AmeliaConnor and Sam came over to the house and we spent the time reading and watching Christmas classics. Amelia is completely mesmerized by Sam as he can be very entertaining! Between Amelia holdings though, Sam took the time to read Maddie Anna book or two. This one was priceless as they stumbled through Frost the Snowman. Every time I read the book I can’t help but sing it, but they both took this reading bit very seriously!!!

You can barely hear Maddie’s little voice speaking with Sammy’s in this little clip. I’m in awe by how fast kids change… Maddie is four – FOUR! How did this happen?!

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz

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I’m a ballerina girl…

Maddie and ElenaWhen you come home for the holidays and you have a little girl, it’s almost a necessity to go see The Nutcracker! Maddie is such a ballerina girl as I’m pretty sure that she dreams of spinning on her toes in her dreams. This day was exceptional all around because it was “girls day out” all for the sake of ballet. Grandma Dotty, Grandma Barbara, Aunt Susan and Elena joined us for a lunch on the river before heading to see The Nutcraker. Maddie was so excited to give the purple crystal necklace to Elena for the event… she had been holding onto it for weeks in Shanghai!

I was so impressed with how Maddie was acting during the entire performance. I thought for sure that she may lose interest, but she was engaged and tried to follow the story most of the time...

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Maddie Prepares for the Tree Cutting!I can understand those people out there that but artificial trees… really! We have one in Shanghai and every year around the day after Thanksgiving, we open up the closet and find the tall brown box that contains the start of our Christmas cheer. HOWEVER, we do this because finding a real tree in Shanghai is not that easy and that actually makes finding a tree in Saudi Arabia look like a cake walk! So when we come home to Oregon for the holidays – we cut down a tree… especially since we are in our own home for the first time!

Amelia sat in the warmth of the backseat with Grandma Barbara, continuing to jetlag her little heart out while we went trapsing through a tree farm. Barbara watched the whole thing from the car which was apparently the best silent movie in a long time...

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Amelia Hits the Glamour Bar…

Amelia and ToddAmelia and WandaThe school had a get together at the Glamour Bar… I skipped the all school party last week so I couldn’t skip this one so we brought Amelia with us. It was quite posh as it’s talked about in all of the travel books. Go to the Glamour Bar if you ever come to Shanghai… it’s just one of those things you have to do. The school rented it out for about three hours so it was just the “small” SAS gang. Amelia was brilliant and chatted her way through the crowds. It’s a good thing that she Amelia and Bethanydoesn’t mind being passed around to lots and lots of people! She’s so easy going… the pics are Amelia and PreetiAmelia and Saleemof how her night went! Happy Holidays all! One more sleep before the long journey across the ocean!



Amelia, Susannah, Colleen, Sharon Amelia, Michael, Brad

Amelia and MommyAmelia and ScottieAmelia and Amelia (Amy)Amelia and Daddy

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Gingerbread Houses and more

Maddie’s ornamentThe last full day of school meant that all of the holiday makings were sent home! Maddie made a gingerbread house this week AND gingerbread cookies at school. She was so proud to bring them home and show me, but she couldn’t hold off long enough

Maddie and Ms. Zhou

to show dad because she had to eat it. The marshmallow tower was just too tempting! We got our first school ornament this year with Maddie’s picture in it surrounded by colored pasta. These are priceless as they are always fun to get out when the kids are 18 and beyond! I think we’ll take this one home in a few days to put on our “America tree” as Maddie says! Two more sleeps Maddie Anna!!!

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Singing or Reading?

We keep getting notes home from the librarian…. Maddie can’t check out anymore books because she has so many checked out. Okay, they don’t say that she can’t check out books – that would be just plain mean. The issue is this: Maddie LOVES to read and never wants to return any of her library books. I have to sneak them in her bag and the Ms. Preeti has to sneak them out of her bag without Maddie finding out about it. She has her favorite books of course… most of them are related to ballet in some way shape or form. She LOVES Brown Bear, Brown Bear too though. Happy Reading/Singing honey!!!

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Maddie Can Shop

World Financial Center and the Jin MaoI can’t believe that kind of weather we’ve been having in Shanghai lately. Our first year here was rain, rain, a bit more rain and finally a little rain thrown in for good measure! Lately, the skies have been blue so we decided to take advantage of this and head down to Dong Tai Lu for some shopping and site-seeing. I’m amazed at the progress they have made on the world’s tallest building (at least for 5 minutes). We captured this photo from the car with the sunroof open. The sun is hitting the Jin Mao in the background which I think is kind of cool!

We then made our way over the Dong Tai Lu to browse the real fake antiques! It’s fun to head downJeff and Daneah’s apartment there to practice my Chinese...

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Christmas at the Links!

This entire week has been about children running around the Links after dark, knocking on doors as loud as they can and then running to hide as fast as they can! There are about 20 kids out at the Links and they were all part of a Secret Santa gift exchange. I keep forgetting (sometimes) that Maddie is four as this is all still very new to her. We had participated in Secret Santa last year, but doesn’t really remember doing so. Maddie first heard the door on Monday night and was ecstatic as she was opening the present… when she realized it was a book she burst into tears because “Santa” didn’t bring her the ballet slippers she wanted! It was then that we had the discussion about the difference between Santa and a Secret Santa...

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Santa’s Workshop

This week at school Maddie had Santa’s Workshop at school. Neither Andy or I were able to attend with her so we gave her a set amount of money to spend and sent her on her way. Maddie bought presents for Ms. Zhou, mommy, daddy and Amelia. She decided that she wanted us to open the presents as soon as she got home – she must get that from me! She bought me a beautiful necklace, dad a great tie, Ms. Zhou a pretty necklace, and Amelia a cute little Santa Clause! Thanks for the Christmas presents Madeline Anna!!

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Friday Night Date Nights… with Amelia!

While Maddie and Ms. Zhou enjoy their Friday night movie ritual, Andy and I go out for date night. I thought for sure that we would put it on hold after Amelia arrived, but this kid likes to be a part of it all! If she’s sitting in your lap, she’s a happy camper. So… dad I continue the date nights (with Amelia in tow) while Maddie continues on with her Ms. Zhou/Maddie bonding time. Life is good!!

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